Relevant Reading

tearsI’ve been reading since before dawn today. I awakened to find 2 tweets that led me into a couple hours of insight on themes that I’ve considered frequently during the writing and editing of The Girl with the Black and Blue Doll.

Life. Death. Tears. The Universe. Themes that I devoted way too much time to during my childhood.

1. from Glynn Washington (NPR’s SnapJudgment host, who was so generous with his time and thoughts when we met at Snap studios in Oakland, CA, Spring 2014)
2. from Rabbi Evan Moffic (I’ve never met him. He began following me on Twitter, and, in following him back, he’s put some Faith back in my Spiritual.)

The readings…
1. Washington shared yesterday’s NY Times’ Opinion, “Sabbath” by 82-year-old writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose memoir (On the Move) was published in April. To quote Sacks’ website: The book is by “the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.”

Sacks has had a second diagnosis of cancer, and he says they’ll be no recovery this time. One-third of his liver has been impacted thus far.

Sacks’ Opinion piece is a beautiful memoir in itself, about Life coming full circle.  All of our lives will eventually come full circle, if they haven’t already—as mine has—and it’s always a joy to read and learn from another person’s journey. I won’t do the article justice if I try to explain it here. Just read it.

Reading yesterday’s Opinion piece lead me to Sacks’ July Opinion in the NY Times My Periodic Table. Again, a timely piece relevant to my recent nights under the stars. When we find ourselves in a fragile part of our life, many of us often turn to the Universe. Lying under a sky “powdered with stars” (Milton), it’s difficult not to contemplate our place in the big picture.

2. Rabbi Moffic shared his thoughts on Tears, initially re: tears and funerals. Why You Should Cry Your Eyes Out.

From his article: “In truth, however, tears are a sign of strength. They are a sign of life. They are a sign of real feeling. We cry because we are alive. We cry because we care.”

I don’t cry nearly as much anymore. When I do, thankfully it’s more likely to be from Joy.
When, if, you read my memoir, you’ll know that, as soon as the Sisters at St. Joseph School got me in their grip, I learned about the value of Prayer.

I began to pray almost every day for one thing: Death. I prayed during the long school bus ride in the morning, in between my fantasies and daydreaming. I prayed during morning prayer and afternoon prayer and the prayer before heading home. I prayed at night as I lay awake in my bed. I prayed for Death to come ASAP—but it never did. Year after year, my prayers went unanswered.

Then I left home for college at age 18, and I stopped praying for Death. At that point, I discovered a totally different version of Life and was ready to embrace it. I prayed for Life.

I don’t pray much anymore. I guess I feel that what’s done is done.

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